February 24, 2024

Risk report predicts when business travel will settle into ‘new normal’

A report out today claims business travel is still potentially years away from settling back into regular patterns, but Europeans are more optimistic of a quicker return to the ‘new normal’.

Based on a survey of nearly 1,000 risk professionals in 75 countries by International SOS, 40% of European respondents believe new routines will be established in the next six months, while 49% of respondents in Asia anticipated that stability could take between 12 months and three years to be reached.

Across all regions, 9% say the ‘new normal’ has already been reached, 8% expect to see it in the next three months, 20% within six months and 26% in the next year.

According to the Risk Outlook report, 54% of respondents are now willing to travel internationally for work and 73% willing to travel domestically. Meanwhile only 47% said they are prepared to travel abroad on holiday.

According to the survey, 42% of risk professionals expect business travel risks to increase in 2022 while 27% expect them to stay the same.

International SOS client trip volumes are growing 10% each month and domestic business travel has seen a seven-fold increase since the start of the pandemic.

James Bird, Security Director – Intelligence and Assistance, International SOS, said: “There is job for organisations to build back confidence. Employers are still working out what can be done remotely and what requires that face-to-face interaction.

“While business travel is picking up again, it is not as straightforward as it was. Rapidly changing travel restrictions and testing requirements mean that crossing borders can be complicated.

“For organisations managing travel programmes it’s vital that they are proactive in understanding the risks – logistical, security and health – and provide the necessary support to employees.

“A vital element is having access to accurate and up-to-date insight which can help travel function smoothly. This insight needs to account for new and emerging risks, such as new Covid variants or security concerns and disruptions.”

The Risk Outlook report suggests that 77% of organisations have adopted a hybrid working approach, with two days at home and three days in the office being the most common split.

Only 15% of respondents said they would be working five days a week at their office or on-site.